Examine Yourself Pt. 3

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Pt. 3 – Choose Your Future

 

We have spent the last two days examining our past. Today I would like for us to examine our future. The great thing about examining our future is that we have the opportunity to choose our future. What do you want your future to be? Personally, I believe in the end, everyone’s future will be one of two places.

 

HEAVEN

 

When I think about the future I can’t help but think about heaven. I want heaven to be my future more than anything else. What about you? Do you want heaven to be your future? Consider if you will a few reasons why I want heaven to be my future.

 

Heaven is being prepared by our Lord. Jesus told his disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn. 14:1-3). At this very moment the Lord is preparing a special place for you and me.

 

Heaven is beautiful beyond description. Paul said it this way, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor. 2:9). WOW! Paul says, “You can’t even begin to imagine what the Lord is preparing for you.” When you stop and take in all the beauty around you realize this…it was all created by God. And if God created the world and everything it, how much more beautiful will Heaven be. It’s going to be even better than we can imagine.

 

Heaven is the dwelling place of God. John wrote, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them’” (Rev. 21:3). I want heaven to be my future because God will be there.

 

Heaven is a place of no more tears, pain, or death. John continued his thoughts on the holy city with these words, “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). When I think about this life and the things about it which I do not like, I think about pain and tears. Most of us have experienced a fair amount of pain and shed probably more tears than we can recall. Perhaps a lot of our pain and tears were caused by the death of those we loved. I look forward to my future being heaven so that I won’t have to experience anymore pain, tears or death.

 

Heaven is a place to be reunited with loved ones. After David’s child he conceived with Bathsheba died, he longed for the day that he could be reunited with Him again in heaven (2 Sam. 12:23). I have lost some people I love dearly. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them and miss them. I look forward to my future being heaven so that I can be reunited with them once again around the throne of God.

 

Heaven will last forever. When you think about our Lord preparing a special place for us in the dwelling place of God, that is going to be more beautiful than we can fathom, where we will know no sadness and be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on before, the only thing that could make this place any better is the fact that it will last forever (I Thess. 4:17). Friends, it doesn’t get any better than that!

 

Our future can be HEAVEN or our future can be HELL…

 

HELL

 

I have heard very few sermons preached on hell in my entire life. In fact, basically all I can ever remember hearing is that hell is a place no one wants to go. Have you ever stop to think about why you don’t want your future to be hell? Consider a few reasons why I don’t want hell to be my future.

 

Hell is a place of separation from God. Have you ever been away from someone you love for a long period of time? If you have then you understand how unpleasant it is. Friends, we were created for the purpose of having a relationship with God and communing with Him. The fact that a future in hell means being separated from God is a main reason I do not want to go there.

 

Hell is a place of no hope. When one reads the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, it becomes pretty apparent that the rich man was in a place where there was no hope. He was told that he could not pass from where he was in torment into the place where Lazarus was in the comfort of Abraham’s bosom (v. 26). No matter how bad he wanted out of hell, it was hopeless.

 

Hell is a place of torment that last forever. John wrote, “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:11). I have had times in my life where I thought I was in torment or times where I was being tormented by someone. Each time that torment ended. For those whose future is hell, their torment will never end; they will have no rest day or night.

 

Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. I think the most telling thing of all is that hell was not created for God’s precious children. Hell was created for the devil and his angels. Jesus said to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). I do not want hell to be my future because I do not want to spend all of eternity in the presence of the devil and his angels.

 

I’m sure if we were to take a poll, every person would say, “I want heaven to be my future.” However, the sad reality is that most people will miss out on heaven (Matt. 7:13-14). Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matt. 7:21-23). Only those who do the will of God will have a future in heaven. For everyone else, their future is something to be dreaded, hell.

 

As you examine your life, what does your future look like? Do you see yourself enjoying a future in heaven with the creator of all things or in hell with the devil and his angels? Friends, I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that we have the opportunity to pick our future. I pick HEAVEN…what about you?

 

Now that’s Something to Think About!

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